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Saturday, July 20, 2024

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Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

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As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Kentucky to provide health coverage for people leaving incarceration

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Monday, July 8, 2024   

Kentucky is one of a handful of states recently approved to provide health insurance coverage to soon-to-be released incarcerated individuals.

The new rules allow Kentucky to provide Medicaid and CHIP coverage up to 90 days before a person's reentry into society.

John Bowman, senior campaign organizer for the nonprofit Dream.org, said the move will help people reentering society avoid gaps in coverage and reduce barriers to treatment for chronic diseases and substance use disorders.

"Getting these resources in place before they leave incarceration is it's going to be a game changer," Bowman asserted. "Hopefully, we can get to the point where we get it in our county jails as well, instead of just our prisons. Right now, our county jails are excluded."

The new rules also apply to youths in juvenile detention centers who are eligible for the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. According to federal data, an estimated 80% of returning community members have chronic medical, psychiatric or substance use disorders.

Research has shown overcrowding, poor conditions and lack of access to care can increase infectious diseases in jails, including COVID. During the pandemic, incarcerated people were three times more likely to die from coronavirus than the general population. Bowman noted people with a chronic condition often become sicker in prison or develop medical conditions they did not previously have.

"There is a real lack of health care for incarcerated individuals," Bowman observed. "We just stick them in a cage and then forget about them. The lack of health care in there is, honestly, very demeaning and very sad."

According to the Prison Policy Initiative, all federal prisons and at least 40 states charge incarcerated people an average copay of around $2 when seeking medical care.

Bowman added he hopes Kentucky can expand on access to evidence-based substance use treatment and recovery services, including peer support specialists through Medicaid for people working to piece their lives back together after incarceration.


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